Restore public trust in the redistricting process with access to census data and mapping tools, accessible opportunities for public input, and compliance with open meeting laws.

Currently, Pennsylvania has no requirements for public meetings or public input for any part of the redistricting process. Decisions are often made behind closed doors with no explanations or public review. This proposed legislation changes that.

Public Tools & Training

This bill requires a public communication portal (e.g. a website) that provides access to census data, mapping tools, commission schedules, and commission meeting recordings and transcripts. The portal would allow public submissions and review of maps and comments.

Commissioners selected for the IRC will receive training ranging from the Voting Rights Act to redistricting criteria and the mapping process. In order to have proper oversight, the public will also have access to this training.

Required Public Meetings

Prior to drawing the first maps, the IRC must hold public meetings open to public comment across the Commonwealth. After introducing their preliminary maps, the IRC must hold additional public meetings to solicit comments from residents. Some of these meetings must be held in the PA’s largest cities. All IRC meetings must be open to the public and subject to Pennsylvania’s sunshine laws.

IRC Voting

Redistricting maps will require at least seven votes in support, including votes from each applicant pool. In the event that commissioners cannot agree on a particular final map, any commissioner(s) may submit an alternative map to the IRC for consideration. The IRC would vote on all submitted maps in a public session using an elimination vote process. Decision-making never reverts to legislators.

Mapping Standards

Other Resources: Designing a Transparent and Ethical Redistricting Process. Campaign Legal Center and the League of Women Voters